Monday, March 31, 2014

46 Great Yarmouth

Ormesby to Great Yarmouth to Winterton
Great Yarmouth was my favourite holiday place until I started adventuring out to distant camp sites with the scouts and without my parents.
In my early days the family stayed at my grandparents boarding house in Yarmoiuth itself. In later years I drove up and visited my nan as she lived out her autumn years in a bungalow on Fritton Close, Ormesby St Margaret.
Aside from Olive and Frank, the other main attraction of Yarmouth was the Snails at Joyland, and also the 2p for twenty shots shooting range. If you hit all the targets on all three rows you got your 2p back. The targets on the bottom row were easy. The  animals on the top two were harder, and sometimes they stuck and didn't fall over. Sometimes I got my 2p back even though I was expecting differently. A trip on the Snails and two goes at the shooting range. That would keep me happy for the day! 
"Joyland: Sixty and Still Thrilling"
BBC Norfolk
21st April 2009

Joyland, the children's theme-park on the golden mile in Great Yarmouth, is celebrating its 60th birthday.
 Originally opened in 1949 by the Cole family, the park still has many of its original rides like the 'Snails' and 'Tubs'.

"Many thousands of people have ridden on this ride," said current owner Michael Cole.
"My grandfather designed the [snail] ride. It's a simple design but it's stood the test of time," he added.

The Tyrolean Tubtwist ride is one of a kind according to Mr Cole.

"This is the only one in existence in the world and it's a fantastic ride," said Michael.
Despite the pensionable age of some of the rides, there is no intention to retire them.

"The National Amusement Park Historical Association came here from America about 12 years-ago and they advised us that if the ride ever became non-profitable, to contact them and they would help subsidise it," said Michael.

"They were very keen not to see it scrapped," he added.
In the family visit days we'd drive up to Yarmouth, four of us squeezed in a mini, then a Vauxhall Viva, then a Ford Cortina Mk III with vinyl roof. At the "Monument" we'd stop and drink coffee from a flask. Almost a cup each. We'd get a few pear drops or cola cubes. Spam and salad cream on white medium slice bread with Anchor butter sandwiches. Wrapped in Sainsbury's cling film. The salad cream and bread were Sainsbury's also; no differenc in the quality to the expensive brand. And a Penguin biscuit.
As a young working bloke I'd nip up in my Ford Sierra, or in the alter days my Frod Granada. The passenger seat would be covered with jumbo sausage roll wrappers, Walkers cheese and onion crisp packets, cans of any sort of drink that I fancied, a Mars Bar or a Lion  Bar or Twix, and often a Scotch Egg. Money no object, and a graze as I drove.
In late teenage years, just before university, I enjoyed visiting in school holidays, on my own, and go fishing on the Broads. I was never much good at catching much, but I enjoyed buying, sorting and maintaining a couple of rods, a few reels, various floats, stools, bags and rod rests. My nan knitted fingerless gloves for the winter months. Spam and salad cream sandwiches and Penguin bscuits again for lunchtimes.

The last trip up in a pre university holiday was with my mate John. We took the train and hiked around. All about the abandoned airfields, and those not so abandoned and then used by the USAF (in the days of nuclear protests). We drank a fair bit at the pubs and stops around the coast and waterways.

My favourite part of the coastline was, and always was at Winterton. Apparently the grass in the sand dunes was planted at some time in the 1800s to stop the inland creep of the North Sea. I'm glad they did it. The grassed dunes were fabulous adventure areas for kids.

I've reduced, just by using the backspace, out the flowery language of a website to this... "Winterton-on-Sea is a mismatch of cottages and houses strewn along grass verged lanes. Half timbered cottages with dormer windows hiding under thatched roofs vie for position with buildings of red brick and tile. The village's pub is brick and flint. The church dates 12th-century and has a tower; 132ft high.  (Inside is a) corner dedicated to those lost at sea.

To the north of the grassed sand-dunes is a position ideal for bird watching. 

Winterton is fortunate to enjoy a favoured position on a magnificent stretch of coastline."

I drove Olive, my nan, to the car park in 1991. We sat in my bronze Ford Granada and chatted about things. We looked out over the sea, grandson and grandmother. I went for a walk up and down the sand dunes, took in the air, and my nan stayed in the car sucking on mints and doing what nans do. I drove her home to Ormesby and then I drove back home alone to Little Marlow. That was the last time we spoke before she died.

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